tv Weekend News Al Jazeera January 30, 2016 2:00am-2:31am EST
w getting around the table, syria talks begin and the main opposition group says it will now come to geneva also ahead on the program france says it will recognise a palestinian state if a final push for talks tore a two-state solution fails. bloodshed in burundi. we go live to an african union summit where the crisis is a big talking point. rescued after 36 days trapped
underground, but will more chinese miners surface talks aimed at ending the war in syria are off to a shaky start geneva. delegates from the largest opposition group have agreed to come to geneva. jails bays has the latest >> reporter: the start of the syria talks, but on day one just one side was present. the syrian government delegation headed by the country's ambassador to the united nations meeting with staffan de mistura. it was during this meeting that the news emerged that the appear sigs group said it will travel to geneva. staffan de mistura said he had to wait for confirmation but
said he was optimistic >> i have good reasons to believe that they are actually considering this very seriously. therefore, to be in a position on probably sunday to actually start the discussions with them and in order to be able to proceed with the syrian talks >> reporter: one opposition member already in geneva later confirmed that her colleagues would be here in a matter of hours >> we just want to let you know that, yes, we are coming and start discussing with the u.n. about our two important issues. this is what is important for us. the team is coming tomorrow. you will hear the details later >> reporter: the decision to come to geneva has been a difficult one for the high negotiating commission. they say they've been given
assurances, not just by the u.n., but also by the u.s. and russia, that there will be measures to alleviate some of the humanitarian concerns and issues that they have raised in the coming days. they say they will speak to the special envoy and take stock of the situation before actually joining any negotiations the president of the syrian commission for transitional justice is part of the syrian opposition. he says last month's u.n. resolution for attacks on civilians to end must be honoured. >> there is no guarantee things will be respected by the bashar al-assad government. it has been five years and the bashar al-assad government never care about the civilians.
this is why it is the article in the security council's resolution which talked about lifting the siege on the besieged areas and releasing all prisoners has to be met, has to be respected before any negotiations can start. we can't negotiate on the life of the syrians if the international community can't help kids who die because of starvation, how they can impose transition on the bashar al-assad government. how can they actually enforce as a government to release children and women. that is contradictory. this is why all the syrians, they ask what will achieve in geneva, if geneva just taking pictures or giving the bashar al-assad to speak against the syrian people, against the opposition france says it will
recognise a palestinian state if talks for a two-state solution false. talks between the israelis and palestinians will be brokered again. in france recognise plain state that it would be the third permanent member of the u.n. security council to do so after china and russia. a substantial majority of 9193 member states of the u.n. have done the same. the vatican formally accepted palestinian as a state after an historic agreement earlier this month. in 2014 sweden became the first e.u. in member to recognise palestinian state. palestinian also has a nonmember observer state us at the u.n. its flag was raised for the first time last year as a symbolic gesture a fellow at the institute of policy studies and says the
recognition of a palestinian state is symbolic but there is more to be done >> it is a very good thing if we're talking about negotiations that are raised on international law and human rights. if we're talking about a repeat of the 23-year long history of u.s.-led negotiations, they were based essentially on maintaining israeli power, if that's the kind of negotiations we're talking about it won't do any good. if france is willing to break with their longstanding partner in washington, that would be an important move. if they're willing to say it should be based not on some new road map or something new but on existing international law and human rights obligations of the parties, then i think there is hope. there is an abstract notion that you can have a two-state relation where both states abide by equality for all, but it is
going to be difficult. the land which is fundamental here, the land has been stolen. the creation of settlements where you now have such enormous tracts of land under the control of illegalize rail ee settlors that no indication that any peace agreement would be involving the movement of settlors after their land, then it's not a viable two-state option. people don't live on symbolism. they die under occupation and siege. a symbolic gesture would be useful but doesn't change a protest has been broken up. officers fired tear gas as they headed towards a police station carried posters of jailed opposition leaders. next month marks five years since the start of an uprising against the sunni ruling family by members of the shia majority. the ongoing violence in burundi
is top of the agenda at the annual meeting of the african union in the ethiopian capital. leaders will discuss the country's refusal to accept the peace keeping force along with the wider issues of security. >> reporter: just like in 2015 security martyrs will be high on the agenda of african union's heads of state summit. they meet here to discuss the growing threat of terrorism, formation of a transitional unity government in south sudan and ongoing violence in burundi. the deputy chairperson says much has been done >> if you go back to the 90s, the number of regional, national conflicts that were active were over 2030.
now we only have a few issues. why? a council has been effective. >> reporter: the au is seen by the critics as weak, unable to deal with the country's problems or implement the decisions arrived at after lengthy discussions. >> the level of leadership that many countries have been proig for the au to come together have been lacking of late. many countries have been looking inside or basically focusing mostly on regional issues rather than the crucial aspect of things. >> reporter: many officials will tell you that there needs to be more political will and financial commitment by member states >> reporter: one of the main talking points of the african union is alternative sources of funding. almost 70% of its budget comes from external partners like the
united states and the european union. the idea is for the auchlt u to look towards the private sector in africa and put more pressure on states to pay their membership fees. >> reporter: only 19 of the 54 member states made contributions to the half a million dollar budget. that's only 2% of the entire budget >> how committed are members to the discourse and to the idea of what african union symbolizes and how determined are they that walk the talk. >> reporter: this year more resolutions will be passed, but without the goodwill and real commitment of member states to move the decisions forward, we may still be telling this same story come next january catherine is live for us.
what are the leaders discussing there and what is expected to come out of those negotiations? >> reporter: the leaders here are discussing basically security matters. that's very big on the agenda. they will be talking about south sudan and the commission of a transitional government there, they will be talking about a greater role in that process. this transitional government has not been formed yet. even if the deadline has past, and this has resulted from the fact that the government has created 28 states up from 10 states, something that the armed opposition leader says is not in the spirit of the peace agreement, so he says that he want that drop before moving forward with that formation of a transitional government. the issue of terrorism is high on the agenda. the growing threat of terrorism in the region. they've been talking about more coordinated efforts, working
together, sharing counter terrorism intelligence as well. the biggest issue discussed is the burundi, the ongoing violence there. there have been the peace and security meeting, the head of states are going to be talking and, perhaps, vote on the deployment of peacekeepers to burundi with or without the consent of the government. a lot of people are saying that it's unlikely that the leaders are going vote for such a move simply because burundi is a sovereign country, it has an elected government and elected president even if that election was contested. also burundi is a contributor of a - a troop contributing country. it is a very controversial issue, very delicate issue. it will be interesting to see the decision made on that. the president ask not here, but he said a high-level delicatessen dpags led by the foreign affairs minister, they
have been trying to get the support of member states-- delegation we will take a quick break. we have plenty more still ahead on al jazeera. when we come back. >> it's hard to imagine the outrage that people working for the u.n. and for the causes of peace and security feel allegations of child sex abuse by european peacekeepers in the central african republic. the youngest sick is a 7-year-old girl. brushing up on street art in argentina which is making a colorful come back. rful come back.
acentral afr welcome back. the top stories on al jazeera. talks aimed at ending the war in syria are off to a shaky start in geneva. delegates from the largest opposition group have agreed to come to switzerland, but they're yet to commence negotiations. france says it will recognise a palestinian state if a final push for talks on a two-state solution fails. french foreign minister says the country will look at holding an international conference soon to revive talks between israelis and palestinians. the ongoing violence in burundi is top of the agenda at the annual meeting of the african union in ethiopian capital. the leaders will discuss burundi's refuse to accept an african peace keeping force
along with widers issues of security there. new claims of child sexual abuse by peace keeping troops in central african republic. the alleged victims of i'veed soldiers from france and georgia who were there under an e.u. mission. this comes after months of allegations of troops accounting under a direct flag. >> reporter: embroiled in scandal once again, a total of six new allegations have surfaced of sexual misconduct against children by foreign peace keeping groups in central african republic. they're alleged to have taken place in the capital in a camp for displaced people in 2014. fourteen age girls between the ages of 14 and 16 say they were sexually assaulted by african union peacekeepers. three said the abusers were from a georgian contingent taking part in an e.u. mission. troubling allegations were also
made against french troops. the youngest alleged victim a seven-year-old girl says she was sexually abused for exchange of a bottle of war and a bag of cookies. >> these are extremely serious accusations. it is crucial that they get investigated. we are heartened for responses from the countries concerned and from the e.u. which show that they take these allegations very seriously. we will continue to closely follow-up on these cases and any others which emerge as the u.n. team on the ground continues its investigations. >> reporter: french and e.u. forces arrived in central african republic with a mandate to protect people in a country mired in sectarian violence. on friday the u.n. also revealed five new allegations against their own peacekeepers and police. >> it is hard to imagine the outrage that people working for the united nations and for the
causes of peace and security feel when these kinds of allegations come to light. particularly involving minor chz are so hard to understand. >> reporter: with the investigation continuing and a report by secretary general bang key moon expected next month, officially here bracing for more allegations coming to light, but for now troops accused of criminal activity against the very civilian population they were sent sent to protect protesters in central african republic have called for the cancellation of last month's-- the results of last month's election. they say the vote was full of
irregularities and should be a nulled by the constitutional court. on monday it ruled that there should be a rerun of presidential elections which were also held in december. the protesters are demanding foreign intervention. >> translation: we asked the international community that has already helped us very much to not let their efforts go to waste. they will have to help us in order for the voice of the people to be heard four people have been killed and 18 wounded on an attack on a shia mosque in saudi arabia. it happened during friday prayers in the other than-- the eastern region. amateur footage shows the moment of the attack inside the mosque. sectarian tensions have been high in the kingdom after a prominent shia cleric was executed a month ago.
the zika virus is spreading rapidly. brazil is at the center of the outbreak with some 4,000 possible cases. the mosquito-born disease which is linked to severe birth defects in babies has affected up to 23 countries so far. peru has confirmed its first instance. a venezuelan is confirmed positive. a new zealand man has been admitted to hospital in ma'am iltonne with symptoms of the virus. -- hamilton rescuers have pulled up miners. the mine is in pingyi province where at least 30 miners are
still missing. >> reporter: after more than a month of searching a moment to celebrate. four hin miners are winched to the surface one-by-one in a specially made capsules, masks quickly placed over their eyes before they were taken to hospital. >> translation: they're all in a stable condition and they're conscience. >> reporter: they were found 200 metres underground. they had been working along with 25 others when their mine collapsed. since then the search has been closely followed by chinese television networks. 11 of their colleagues had been rescued within hours of the collapse. another died. 13 miners are still unaccounted
for. rescuers were spurred on after this break through. finally making contact with the trapped men, they've been sending down food, clothes and lamps through a narrow bore hole. getting them out was a much tougher job. further collapses and rock false are a constant fear. the rescue is another reminder of the dangers associated with mining across china. collapses are common. safety regulations are often ignored. four initials have already lost their jobs. the chairman of the company which owned the mine drowned himself, another casualty of an industry badly in need of reform and tough regulation switzerland's chief prosecutor says nearly 4 billion dollars may have been stolen from a fund in malaysia.
that's after the attorney-general cleared the prime minister of involvement in the scandal that has engulfed the fund. some of the corrupt earnings were sent to swiss accounts of former malaysian officials japan central bank has introduced negative interest rates for the first time as it tries to boost the economy. this means banks will now be charged when they deposit some of their money in the central bank. the move is to encourage financial institutions to lend to businesses rather than sit on their cash. in u.s. lawyers for the boston bomber have filed for an appeal. he was convicted of murder of the 2013 attack that killed people. they want him to pay millions of dollars to the families attacked. he carried out the bombings with his brother who was killed in a confrontation with police. the governor of the u.s. state
of michigan has authorized 28 million dollars to help deal with the water crisis in flint. accusations of racism in the handling of the issue and it has been hotly gated by u.s. presidential hopefuls. >> reporter: just outside of flint hundreds of city residents turn to a local church for short-term relief from the city's water crisis. at our lady of water catholic church the majority of the congregation is latino. about one thousand were undocumented immigrants so we talked to the lawyer. >> they do a lot of farm work, a lot of restaurant work >> reporter: she says that hundreds of undocumented immigrants, many of whom who
don't speak english, have just recently learned of the city's water problems. she told us about one woman who came into her office this week >> she came to see us with a one year old who had formula made with that water. this one year old his whole life has been drinking this water. who knows what that does. we have folks that are still just finding out. when the national guard started distributing water they were turned away. under law people without legal presence cannot apply for a driver's licence or formal identification >> >> the state says we give water to everyone. you come and we will take care of you. they don't know that and they don't feel comfortable. >> reporter: when the national guard delivers water to homes, she says that many are afraid to open their doors for fear of deportation. >> a lot of people have learned
that someone knocks on the door they're an official and you don't open the door. >> reporter: the doors here are always open. in the meeb time, she-- meantime she says she will continue to reach out with the concern that some in the community still remain in the dark a traditional form of art in argentina is on the up. >> reporter: painting so that this does not fade away, this man is a paintist. it is a part of the country's history. it is a street art that has died out. >> translation: these are from the same time period in argentina history. they went through a similar
process. in the 1940s they were very popular and they started disappearing. in the 70s it was banned from the street >> reporter: this type of art uses an ornamental design which combines color with lettering. it was created in the 19th century by european immigrants who brought some elements of art, mixed it with local tradition creating a unique style. it started as a way of decorating street carriages, but later became an emban here. for years bus elizabeth were decorated with this until it was banned by the military government in the 1970s. the reason given it was distracting to drivers. many say that it was an attack against popular art. this man says that it is part of the soul of the country. he manages a bus company and has
struggled to keep this type of art alive. >> translation: when buses appeared decades ago, they were painted like street carriages. everybody wanted to have the nicest bus. >> reporter: he says that the military government's ban was in part responsible for it no longer being used, but also that buses became more commercial. >> translation: when buses are owned by companies, the buses don't belong to the drivers any more, so that changed everything. >> reporter: this year it has been called an essential cultural form. >> translation: it happens to revive the art. >> reporter: even though it was on the verge of being wiped out, it can be seen on the streets on
furniture and deck rates many other-- decorates many other things here. people like these men will fight to keep the tradition alive don't forget there is lots more on our website. get the latest on all the stories there. aljazeera.com >> thanks for joining us for "america tonight." i'm joie chen. a new threat has emerged with international health care workers warning of the possibility of devastating consequences. as more and more cases of the zika virus emerge across the globe even in the united states. but just how great is the danger and who is most at risk? we get